You will write a proposal for a research project that is based on one of the ‘vignettes’ (see the assessment folder). The patient stories (vignettes) are given to you to assist you in developing a research question. You will use the template given for this assessment.

The vignette that has been selected for the proposal for the research project is below:

In a recent survey of refugees experiences of accessing healthcare services in the healthcare region it uncovered some rather concerning at times, and somewhat patchy at best, stories.

Some of the highlights were that some are being refused access to interpreters. Some are being refused access to services unless interpreters are present, yet they are not provided by the service. ‘Google Translate’ was often being used, despite its inaccuracy and often without space for patients to type in their own language. Telephone interpreters were sometimes being used, but these were often found to be unclear and difficult to understand, which can be made worse by differences in accent or dialect.

Only 20% reported having access to an interpreter and a ‘good service’. Because of this concerning report, your manager has asked you to undertake a small-scale piece of research in which you will research the experience of refugees attending for imaging services at hospital X. You have been asked to focus on planned services such as ultrasound, CT and MRI at the moment. Your manager is wishes to know how the service at hospital X compares, and where the issues might be.

Proposed research question based off vignette:

For refugee patients attending hospital X, how is patient care experience affected by language barriers when undergoing an imaging examination?

This is the question that you will be answering your research proposal on.

Approach have you used to assist you in structuring this question.

PEO – population, exposure and outcome.

P – Refugee patients attending hospital X.

E – The issue that I am interested in is how patient care experience is affected by language barriers when undergoing an imaging examination for refugee patients.

O – What I want to examine is the patient care given to refugee patients during an imaging examination.

Ensure this is clearly explained in the first section.

Research methodology that you are required to use:

Qualitative methodology.

Ensure you have an appropriate method of data collection. 

Your assessment brief is:

You are a student radiographer in St Elsewhere Trust and they have recently launched a “Get into research” initiative to enhance the profile of evidence-based research in clinical practice. There is a small funding pot available, but also some support from the R+D department to support early career researchers.

All undergraduate students have been instructed they must put forward a research proposal for the Trust initiative, because the department manager is especially keen to raise the profile of research amongst the imaging department. There are a number of issues at the moment, and these are presented to the students in a meeting in the form of the ‘vignettes’ (see the assessment folder). You are told you should develop a research question and project around ONE of these topics and this must be patient focused, not about the technology.

But you are a student radiographer, and this would be your final year project (potentially, if you got the go ahead) so it can only be really small and local. You wouldn’t have any money to do anything fancy/ambitious and not much time to complete this, only a few months at most. The funding (maximum) if you were successful would be £250 and that might cover some photocopying and transcription costs (for example), if you were lucky! So, keep it simple.

A research comes from the R+D department to tell you a bit more about writing the proposal and they tell you that the first phase of any project is to put the research proposal together – this then gets scrutinised by a research ethics panel and then they would say whether you could ACTUALLY do the project or not. So, they tell you need to think very carefully about all your decisions, make sure all your decisions are ethical, legal and the proposal is easy to follow. All the steps must be set out clearly. So, you need to carefully consider what will you do? How will you do it? and why?

They tell you that your research design can be quantitative or qualitative in design, but you have been advised by the research team to keep it simple (for that reason to avoid mixed methods design). Also, for these reasons a project that is Longitudinal or ethnography is therefore out of the question as well.

They tell you that you must base all your decisions in the evidence – this is an academic piece of writing after all. So, you can’t tell the ethics panel why you are proposing to do something a certain way (from the evidence). You are told that just stating what you will do without underpinning that won’t be sufficient as that won’t show you have enough knowledge and understanding of the topic and of research methods.

Finally, the researcher tells you that there is no such thing as a perfect piece of research! There will be flaws, limitations etc… this will not be a perfect piece of research. But that the world is messy, life is messy and humans and ‘messy’, and so is research ! That is why your reflection in the final section is important so please don’t miss this part out because it shows that you can be open and honest about the limitations of your own proposal. It can be the most important part in many ways.